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CHILE.

411

[14. EMMera^ceremome^.-— Notwithstanding they
know the difference between the body and the soul,
tlieir ideas of the spirituality of the latter do not
seem to be very distinct, as appears from the cere
monies practised at their funerals. As soon as one
of their nation dies, his friends and relations seat
themselves upon the ground around the body, and
weep fora long time; they afterwards expose it,
clothed in the best dress of the deceased, upon a
high bier, called pzV/Mnj/, where it remains during
the night, which they pass near it in weeping, or
iu eating and drinking with those who come to
console them ; this meeting is called curicahu/n,
the black entertainment, as that colour is among
them, as Avell as the Europeans, the symbol of
mourning. The following day, though sometimes
not until the second or third after the decease of
the person, they carry the corpse in procession to
the eltun, or burying jdacc of the family, which
is usually situated in a wood or on a hill ; two
young men on horseback, riding full speed, pre
cede the procession. The bier is carried by the
principal relations, and is surrounded by women,
who bewail the deceased in the manner of the
hired mourners among the Romans ; while another
woman, who walks behind, strews ashes in the
road, to prevent the soul from returning to its late
abode. On arriving at the place of burial, the
corpse is laid upon the surface of the ground, and
surrounded, if a man, with his arras, if a woman,
with female implements, and with a great quan
tity of provisions, and with vessels filled with
chica, and with wine, which according to their
opinions are necessary to subsist them during their
passage to another world ; they sometimes even
kill a horse, and inter it in the same ground. After
these ceremonies, they take leave with many tears
of the deceased, wishing him a prosperous journey,
and cover the corpse with earth and stones placed
in a pyramidal form, upon which they pour agreat
quantity of chica. The similarity between these
funeral rites and those practised by the ancients
must be obvious to those acquainted with the cus
toms of the latter. Immediately after the relations
have quitted the deceased, an old woman, called
2'empulcague, comes, as the Araucanians believe,
in the shape of a whale, to transport him to the
Elysiari fields ; but before Ids arrival there, he is
obliged to pay a toll, for passing a very narrow
strait, to another malicious old woman who guards
it, and who, on failure, deprives the passenger of
an eye. This fable resembles much that of the
ferryman Charon, not that there is any probability
that the one was copied from the other ; as the
hunaan mind, when placed in similar situations,

will give birth to the same ideas. The soul, when
separated from the body, exercises in another life
the same functions it performed in this, with no
other difference except that they are unaccoiiv
panied with fatigue or satiety ; husbands have
there the same wives as they had on earth, but
the latter have no children, as that happy country
cannot be inhabited by any except the spirits of
the dead ; and every thing there is spiritual. Ac
cording to their theory, the soul, notwithstanding
its new condition of life, never loses its original
attachments ; and when the spirits of their country
men return, as they frequently do, they fight
furiously with those of their enemies whenever
they meet with them in the air ; and these com
bats are the origin of tempests, thunder, and
lightning. Not a storm happens upon the An
des or the ocean which th(‘y do not ascribe to a
battle between the souls of their fellow-country
men and those of the Spaniards ; they say that
the roaring of the wind is the trampling of their
horses ; the noise of the thunder that of their drums,
and the flashes of lightning the fire of their artillery.
If the storm takes its course tow ards the Spanish
territory, they affirm that their spirits have put
to flight those of the Spaniards, and exclaim
triumphantly, Imvime?i, imivimen, puen, laguvi
men! “ Pursue them, friends, pursue them, kill
them !” If the contrary happens, they are greatlj’
afflicted, and call out in consternation, Yavida
men^ puen, namunlumcnl “ Courage?, friends, be
firm !” I'hus do they believe that the dead, al
though mere spirits, are possessed, like the sha.
dows which thronged about iEiieas in his descent
into the infernal regions, of the same passions, and
a love of the same pursuits, by w hich they were
actuated when living.

“ Quoe, gratia curruum
Armorumque fuit vivis, quee curanitenles
Pascere equos, eadem sequitur tellure repostos."

Their ideas respecting the origin of creation arc
so crude and ridiculous, that to relate them would
serve for little else than to shew the weakness of
human reason when left to itself. 'They have
among them the tradition of a great deluge, in
whicli only a few persons were saved, who took
refuge upon a high mountain, called Thegtheg,
the thundering, or the sparkling, Avhich hadthree
points, and possessed the property of moving upon
tlie water. From hence it is to be inferred, that
this deluge was in consequence of some volcanic
eruption, accompanied by terrible earthquakes, or
should appear to be a corrupted tradition of
Noah’s flood. Whenever a violent earthquake
occurs, these people fly for safely to these moun-l

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